The heart and soul of Andalusia, Ronda is a breathtaking experience for budding wayfarers and fastidious travelgourmands. Perched high on a cliff and overlooking a picturesque terrain in Southern Spain, the city boasts a unique mix of spectacular sights, famed landscapes, and immortalized cultural heritage. Since a myriad things can be seen and done in Andalusia, a visitor should know Ronda’s top sights to start with.
Puente Nuevo, a masterpiece of masonry
To many people glaring at Puente Nuevo, engineered bridges have never seemed so impressive and mind-blowing. The 70-meter symbolic viaduct astounds and stupefies the minds of travelers. Towering over the 100-meter precipice, also dubbedas the El Tajo gorge, it links the ancient Moorish area of Ronda and the present-day Market Quarter. Designed in 1788, it remains fully functional and still draws crowds of daredevils, not afraid of looking down the abyss. Striding along the gorge, one can explore zigzag trails, pass through the Arco Arabe gate, and take pictures of the wonderful waterfalls, roaring in the vicinity.
Plaza de Toros, a historic tribute to bullfighting
When someone says Ronda, they often mean matadors. Not for nothing was this town selected as the setting of Hemingway’s novels. Ronda is the birthplace of Spain’s most renowned bullfighters, Francisco Romero and his grandson, Pedro. To commemorate the glory of the days gone, the 2ndoldest ring forbullfighting, Plaza de Toros, has been transformed into the city’s prime tourist attraction. Moreover, Ronda hosts the school of matadors and the museum and becomes the arena of annual fairs, festivals, and bullfighting performances where tourists flock in great numbers.
Baños Arabes, a hidden Moorish gem
Misted history has granted Ronda with dozens of well-preserved monuments, buildings, and artefacts. Medieval thermal baths, the famous BañosArabes, are the finest example of suchlike Moorish architecture in Andalusia, if not in Spain. Islamic arched walls, vaulted ceilings, and the unique water wheel contribute to the unbelievable aura of this landmark, which has reached our time only as the object of fascination.
Alameda del Tajo, a peaceful getaway site
An evening stroll or a guided tour in the 19th-century Alameda del Tajo park is a must-do for both the locals and tourists. Lush pine woods, spacious gardens, scenic paths, and a duck pond leave a blissful impression that is never to be forgotten. This public park boasts splendid views of the near-Ronda landscapes and serves as a refreshing getaway from stifling southern heat. The park is also home to luxury hotels and spectacular terraced viewpoints.
Casa del Rey Moro, a magnet for tourists
Though this mansion is closed for visitors, tourists can explore the gorgeous tiered gardens engineered by the world-class French landscape gardeners and reminiscent of Alhambra’s famed park. Descending the stairs to the bottom of El Tajo gorge, one can admire stunning landscapes, revitalizing fountains, and dizzying fragrant flowerbeds.
La Ciudad, a treasury of medieval attractions
Flabbergasted, enchanted, and gasping from astonishment, visitors gravitate to the old Moorish quarter of La Ciudad to admire quaint streets, whitewashed Moorish houses and historic squares. La Ciudad is a perfect combination of a medina and a European-style Old Town, where Islamic and proper Spanish landmarks rub shoulders. The area is mostly associated with such attractions as the Iglesia Santa María la Mayor, formerly a four-domed mosque, the Renaissance Palacio de Mondragón, the 20th-century mansion Casa Juan Bosco, and the renovated atmospheric stronghold, Murallas del Carmen.